1. The Office shall, at the request of the applicant for the EU trade mark when filing the application, draw up a European Union search report (‘EU search report’) citing those earlier EU trade marks or EU trade mark applications discovered which may be invoked under Article 8 against the registration of the EU trade mark applied for.
2. Where, at the time of filing an EU trade mark application, the applicant requests that a search report be prepared by the central industrial property offices of the Member States and where the appropriate search fee has been paid within the time limit for the payment of the filing fee, the Office shall transmit without delay a copy of the EU trade mark application to the central industrial property office of each Member State which has informed the Office of its decision to operate a search in its own register of trade marks in respect of EU trade mark applications.
3. Each of the central industrial property offices of the Member States referred to in paragraph 2 shall communicate a search report which shall either cite any earlier national trade marks, national trade mark applications or trade marks registered under international agreements, having effect in the Member State or Member States concerned, which have been discovered and which may be invoked under Article 8 against the registration of the EU trade mark applied for, or state that the search has revealed no such rights.
4. The Office, after consulting the Management Board provided for in Article 153 (‘the Management Board’), shall establish the contents and modalities for the reports.
5. The Office shall pay an amount to each central industrial property office for each search report provided in accordance with paragraph 3. The amount, which shall be the same for each office, shall be fixed by the Budget Committee by means of a decision adopted by a majority of three quarters of the representatives of the Member States.
6. The Office shall transmit to the applicant for the EU trade mark the EU search report requested and any requested national search reports received.
7. Upon publication of the EU trade mark application, the Office shall inform the proprietors of any earlier EU trade marks or EU trade mark applications cited in the EU search report of the publication of the EU trade mark application. The latter shall apply irrespective of whether the applicant has requested to receive the EU search report, unless the proprietor of an earlier registration or application requests not to receive the notification.